UCLA In the News September 20, 2016

On Volunteer Day, new Bruins take on projects across the city | KABC-TV

7,200 volunteers in all, providing almost $1 million dollars’ worth of service all in one day. Most of the volunteers are incoming freshman and transfer students. The university says Volunteer Day is a call to action that inspires many Bruins to volunteer throughout the year. (Also: Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News)

A wakeup call on junk science in the courtrooms | Washington Post

(Op-ed co-written by UCLA’s Jennifer L. Mnookin) Any forensic technique that is valid and trustworthy ought to be able to pass this test. And the converse is equally true: Any forensic technique that fails to meet this standard should not be used in court. The integrity of our criminal-justice system deserves no less. Requiring that the forensic methods we use in court have a reasonable modicum of scientific validity is neither pro-defense nor pro-prosecution; it is, rather, both pro-science and pro-justice.

Demand for ‘clawback’ of bank executives’ pay | Los Angeles Times

David Aboody, an accounting professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, said he did not expect a similar SEC action against Wells Fargo — which has nearly $2 trillion in assets — that would involve a restatement of its financial results and a clawback in executive compensation.

A turbulent election season can create conflict in families | Washington Post

In such a divisive campaign, with its heavy themes of racial and ethnic bigotry and the candidates’ perceived character flaws, a family member’s political disagreement can easily begin to sound like a personal attack, said Andrew Christensen, a UCLA psychology professor. For example, said Christensen, who researches conflicts within couples, “if the family member is supporting Trump and that implies that maybe they’re not so smart, or that they’re racist…. then it becomes more fraught because they’re not just explaining why they support Trump but defending themselves.”

High parking prices at Rams games may boost public transit | Los Angeles Times

Donald Shoup, an urban planning professor at UCLA and parking policy expert, says sky-high parking prices could be exactly what L.A. needs. Price gouging could motivate otherwise reluctant Angelenos to embrace the many mass transit alternatives to the Coliseum. “You can avoid paying $100 if you’re willing to take transit to the game,” he said. “I don’t think we should feel really sorry for people who drive to a game and want to park.... They have the alternative of bicycling or taking transit or walking.”

Weighing candidates’ responses to terror attacks | KPCC-FM’s “AirTalk”

“What I would say is that they’re fighting a little bit here for the narrative, but in ways that should seem familiar to people,” said UCLA’s Lynn Vavreck. “Hillary Clinton saying we are well equipped to meet this challenge, meaning everything is in place and we just need to deploy what Obama and [Clinton] have put in place. And Donald Trump saying, ‘We need to hit these people much harder,’ trying to cast failure on the current administration.” [Vavreck at 3:00]

A liberal Supreme Court would likely uphold Heller | National Journal

“I think even the liberal justices will see little value in overturning Heller,” said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor who has written a book about the Second Amendment and is writing one now about the rights of corporations. “There’s much to lose and little to gain. Heller has proven not to be a major impediment to good and effective gun control laws.” (Also: CNN)

Activity critical for adolescents after concussions | Pennsylvania’s WPMT-TV

“Getting proper advice about how to manage your activity early on reduces the likelihood by 15 to 20 percent of whether or not you develop post-concussion syndrome,” said UCLA’s Dr. Christopher Giza. “Their headache is going to be worse, their memory is going to be worse, their mood is going to be worse. All of those things that we monitor for concussion will get worse if we don’t let them sleep.”

Many are plagued by disturbing dreams right before waking | Men’s Health

(Column by UCLA’s Dr. Alon Avidan) You feel like you’re still asleep during these episodes, but you’re actually in the transitional time between sleep and wakefulness. Because you’re not actually asleep when they occur, these “dreams” aren’t dream at all—that’s why they’re officially referred to as hallucinations. Your brain is in a semi-awake/semi-asleep state: Part of it is still in rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep—the deep stage of sleep where our brain is more active, allowing for intense dreams.

Healthier choices at the checkout counter | Press Enterprise

Another challenge is finding space on the checkout shelves for food that is healthy and less perishable, said Susan Babey, senior research scientist and co-director of the chronic disease program at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “To the extent the impulse food buys switch from unhealthy to healthy food choices is a step in the right direction,” Babey said.

Majority of health care spending is publicly funded | San Diego Union Tribune

“The public sector is the primary player in health care spending,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, who led the study…. The study found that California’s share of health care expenditures was higher than the 2015 national estimate of 65 percent.

Difficulty of stopping individual terrorists before they act | St. Louis’s KMOX-AM

“The problem is that the lone wolf can be any type of individual,” said UCLA’s Jeffrey Simon. “We’re talking today with a lot of attention on the Islamic extremist lone wolf, but we have to remember the lone wolf cuts across the political and religious spectrum. We’ve had right wing lone wolves, left wing, we’ve had single-issue lone wolves… the lone wolves for the most part do, unfortunately, fly under the radar.” [audio download]

Quest for a good night’s sleep | AARP Magazine

But it wasn’t until UCLA biomathematician Van Savage published a 2007 paper comparing sleep duration and metabolic rates that scientists were able to mount “a compelling argument for the core function of sleep,” says Charles Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. According to the theory, sleep is the brain’s overnight rinse cycle, a time for flushing cellular debris generated by metabolic activity. “The brain has to go offline during that process,” Czeisler says. “That’s what we call sleep.”

Media Contact